Update on draft savings proposals


On 24 August 2017 Belfast Health and Social Care Trust approved for public consultation a document setting out how the Trust would propose to meet its share (£26m) of £70m cash savings required of Trusts in 2017/18 as part of the Health and Social Care’s overall financial plan to live within its budget.

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, along with other Trusts in the wider Health and Social Care system, began a six-week consultation on draft savings plans. The outcome of Belfast Trust’s consultation will be addressed at a public Trust Board meeting on 13 October 2017.


Today we have learned that the Department of Health has been authorised to plan on the basis of an additional £40million being available in this financial year. 

This will allow us to stand down almost all of our major and controversial proposals.

Next Steps: Trust Board on 13 October

On Friday 13 October, Trust Board will be asked to endorse standing down the following proposals, which, if implemented, would have had a major impact in Belfast Trust’s ability to deliver services:

  • Proposals 6 and 7: more effective management of the Trust’s agency workforce and downturn of routine elective care for the rest of the financial year.  This means there is no longer a need to close 100 beds.
  • Proposal 8: temporarily reduce access to domiciliary care and direct payments for new patients and clients for the remainder of the financial year
  • Proposal 9: temporary reduce access to nursing and residential home placements for new patients and clients for the remainder of the year
  • Proposal 10: Defer access for new NHS patients within the Regional Fertility Centre until 1 April 2018 
  • Proposal 11(a): Deferring the initiation of a number of high-cost drug treatments for a period of 5 to 6 months.
  • In respect of Proposal 11(b) around the substitution of expensive drugs with cheaper ones but with the same efficacy, this proposal – along with 5 proposals which have no or low impact - will proceed to Trust Board on Friday with a recommendation to implement subject to further consideration by the HSCB and final decision-making by the Department of Health.

Public consultation

Belfast Trust very much welcomes this financial allocation to health and social care. We are sincerely grateful to the public, our staff, Trade Unions and politicians for engaging with us throughout this consultation period. It is clearly recognised that Health and Social Care faces significant financial pressures and is in need of major reform – as made clear by Professor Bengoa’s Expert Panel - if we are to deliver a modern service that meets the needs of our population.